Words cannot describe what has beset my household since the children returned home. It seems likely that the small ones didn’t sleep a wink while with their father. That would explain the extreme fatigue and concomitant snarling about how rotten their lives are. The only other explanation that would account for their behavior is that they both had brain transplants last week, and frankly that would never happen without the ex banging down my door for my half of the co-pay the moment they left the hospital.
Perhaps I’m not being fair. Perhaps–in my advanced age and dimming memory–I just don’t recall how difficult it is to be almost-five or six-and-a-half. Perhaps their lives really are as tragic as they’d have me believe. After all, Monkey had to attend a bowling birthday party yesterday, and despite the use of bumpers there were a few times that he threw* his ball and didn’t knock a single pin down, which disrupted the course of civilization as we know it, if his reaction was any indication. And Chickadee, well, poor Chickadee is going by Snaggletooth at the moment, owing to a top tooth that is protruding akimbo but still stubbornly refuses to let go, and the pain is more severe than when I gave birth to her 9-pound screaming self, I have been assured.
Yes, perhaps I am just not being sensitive their needs and their pain. And it’s true that I am a harsh taskmaster; despite their afflictions, I have continued to flog them with responsibilities. For instance, last night I suggested that we eat dinner, then get into our jammies and decorate the Christmas tree. Well, that’s what I thought I’d suggested. I may have actually suggested we eat dinner and then coat our eyeballs with papercuts and lemon juice, judging by the warm reception of my idea. So that plan was nixed, and instead I offered a movie before bedtime. This led to half an hour of bickering over which movie, which I settled by making an executive decision. This enabled both children to unite in their hatred of me, and the movie was spent with them telling me how dumb and stupid this movie is while I stuck my fingers in my ears and sang “LALALALA I CAN’T HEEEEAR YOU!”
Bedtime ended up being an hour late, as Chickadee sobbed and lamented her wonky tooth. She would work it on her own, then insist that I try to extract it, and then scream bloody murder when I touched it. Monkey came out of his room every five minutes during our little bathroom opera to ask if it had fallen out yet. Then I gave them each a shot of whiskey and a handful of Unisom and tucked them in. Haha! Just kidding!! I never tuck them in.
This morning, even after sleeping late, tempers were not much improved. (Maybe it was the hangovers…?) Chickadee burst into tears upon learning that we needed to get ready for church… because, you know, we go to church every single Sunday (as does her father), so I’m sure it was a huge unexpected surprise that we were doing so, today. By not allowing her to stay home and watch television all morning, I was committing heinous child abuse. Monkey was perfectly willing to get ready for church, provided that I allow him to wear all of his clothes inside-out. I’m still not really sure what that was about.
After church**, I offered to drive through McDonald’s. Because I am mean and terrible and horrible. I’m not even sure what the objection to that was, but there was some reason it was the height of inappropriateness. It’s a wonder that CPS hasn’t hauled my ass away, I tell you.
Now I’ve had the audacity to ask if they want to decorate the tree this afternoon, and have been informed that they are too tired and it’s too rainy***. Naturally. When will I learn and repent of my wicked ways? I do not know. Maybe tomorrow. But probably not.
I am so looking forward to taking our Christmas card picture.
*It is embellishment and generosity to say that Monkey throws his ball during bowling. He runs up to the edge of the lane, stops dead, and assumes a straddle stance. Then he folds his torso over and places the ball back through his legs, behind him, as far as he can reach. The resultant roll is surprising wussy given the elaborate preparation.
**Our choir director picked today, of all days–the day I wore a sweater to church, natch–to have us resume wearing our fugly choir robes. Nothing picks up your mood like spending an hour communing with the lord and postulating that hell is actually not as hot as the choir loft when covered in neck-to-toe polyester.
***How the rain precludes decorating the indoor tree is not clear to me, but there is no reasoning to be had at Casa Mir this weekend, obviously.